Plunkett & Macleane (1999) starring Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Ken Stott, Liv Tyler directed by Jake Scott Movie Review

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Robert Carlyle in Plunkett & Macleane (1999)

Plunkett's Macleane Get Away

Will Plunkett (Robert Carlyle) and Captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller) are from different sides of life; Plunkett is a thief whilst Macleane has society connections. But these two end up working together to rob the well to do of their wealth, becoming known as "The Gentleman Highwaymen" in the process. It is during one of their raids on the coach's of the well to do that they become acquainted with Lady Rebecca Gibson (Liv Tyler) the daughter of Lord Chief Justice Gibson (Michael Gambon) who Macleane takes a fancy to. But that brings them closer to trouble as Thief Taker General Chance (Ken Stott) is not only after The Gentleman Highwaymen but he also has a thing for Lady Rebecca.

So it's an interesting idea; make a highwayman movie where we have rogues robbing the rich along with some romance but whilst setting it during the right period give it some contemporary touches, from a more rough and ready dialogue to a contemporary soundtrack. The end result will either entertain due to the shock juxtaposition of old with new or it will quickly become tedious as it becomes apparent that is the only trick it has in its star studded bag. By which I mean you will suddenly go "oh look Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are there camping it up" or "isn't that Matt Lucas and David Walliams".

Jonny Lee Miller in Plunkett & Macleane (1999)

If you haven't sussed which side of the line I am on it is in the latter as whilst for the first 10 to 15 minutes the combination of look combined with contemporary touches, the rawness of the dialogue and the various familiar faces entertained I soon found myself needing something more only to be treated to more of the same. In truth I began to contemplate whether to stop watching "Plunkett & Macleane" and return to it on a Friday night when with a couple of beers and a pizza in me I might find it more entertaining.

But I have other issues with "Plunkett & Macleane" other than it being a one trick pony and that is for a movie about highwaymen robbing the rich the sense of action and adventure is not there. The thing is that for me this movie should be screaming out for something akin to swashbuckling excitement but instead what is delivered is more akin to thuggery which whilst in truth is in keeping with the contemporary side of the movie failed to do much for me.

What this all boils down to is that "Plunkett & Macleane" was entertaining but only in a one trick pony sort of way which left me wanting more than just rough and ready classic mixed with contemporary.